Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,213 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 L.A. Law: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Anchorwoman: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 633
  2. Negative: 0 out of 633
633 tv reviews
  1. Although there is nothing compelling... ["Out Of Practice" is a] professional job and not hard to watch.
  2. Neither a disaster nor a triumph.
  3. "Human Trafficking" is at once a sobering, tough-to-watch dramatization about girls taken from the streets of their hometowns around the world and sold into sexual servitude and a clichéd drama about said topic.
  4. Given that it wants to seem edgy and quirky, "Saved" is remarkably rich in cliché... Still, it's no worse than average and has Tom Everett Scott in it, which is a nice thing for TV viewers.
  5. The show, in its way, is too slight to be totally fulfilling, tending to collapse into slapstick, but it can get by on moments.
  6. The pilot has a "Steel Magnolias" feel to it: Too many stars, too many faces, too many names, a cornucopia of character business.
  7. You begin to feel strung along on an errand whose complexities can't mask the fact that the main character isn't great company.
  8. If "The Class" feels calculated, unrelated to life outside sitcoms, and encased in amber, it's a competent American product, ultimately, no harder to watch than, say, a Dodge is to drive.
  9. Here it feels as if Sorkin has chosen an outdated media milieu for his secular humanist dramaturgy. His first TV series, "Sports Night," was ahead of the times, but "Studio 60" is behind them.
  10. I, the Jury, am still out on this one; it could go either way from here.
  11. It was [creators Burnett and Beckerman's] style on "Ed" to be too cutesy by half, and so here
  12. The film as a whole is a strange case of mostly excellent parts that make an overlong and tedious whole.
  13. It's a somber, often leaden affair, beset with stiff dialogue.
  14. The trouble with Feresten isn't his comedy; it's his difficulty creating any intimacy with the audience or the camera. He's got the irony down cold but the empathy not so much.
  15. Almost from the get-go there's far more galumphing than trotting going on, and not all of it done by prehistoric feet. Things pick up in the third episode and there are dodos in the fourth, but it's not enough, no, not nearly enough.
  16. There are more than a few problems here.
  17. Swingtown walks a fine line between being a period piece, down to the pudding cups, baseball shirts and snatches of the old "$10,000 Pyramid," and parody.
  18. Such a concept seem ripe with delicious possibility. The show, unfortunately, is not. Played out as a cop procedural, it has a predictable narrative structure that at times resembles nothing so much as a prison.
  19. Some of it is very enjoyable, some of it is silly but still enjoyable, some of it is too silly to be enjoyable, some of it is not silly enough to be enjoyable, and some of it is neither here nor there.
  20. Vampire fantasy, murder mystery, star-crossed love story, political satire, True Blood is all and none of the above. Not quite funny, not quite scary, not quite thought-provoking, the show's attempt to question the roots of prejudice is continually undermined by its own stereotyping.
  21. Camp Rock isn't particularly good, but it's good at what it does. The product may be "inauthentic," if such a thing is even possible, but the way it will connect with a lot of little girls and more than a few little boys is real enough.
  22. The play, and the production, might have been better served by rolling a few cameras into the theater, but I know that isn't how people like to do these things.
  23. Unfortunately, so smitten are the creators of John Adams with historical earnestness and pedigree they seem to have forgotten how to tell a good story.
  24. It's not all bad, but nothing in it argues that it needed to be made other than to give the people who made it something to do. It's a mediocre misfire in which the odd good parts beg for a better home.
  25. Television, like love, is a matter of chemistry, of which none is yet obvious between the leads here. Will it come? Trevor would tell you that you should know it in an instant, while Claire would reserve judgment; they're both right, of course, some of the time.
  26. The problem is that in the pilot and an early episode, the crimes are nowhere as compelling as the characters. For a show like "Castle" that dares to launch a more classic version into an already saturated and tarted-up market, the murders have to be as complicated and compelling as the push-me-pull-you glances between the main characters, and so far, they just aren't.
  27. While there's nothing particularly wrong with Do Not Disturb, neither is there anything so inspired as to make you leap to your feet, crying, "Yes! This is what television needs! More workplace comedies! More hotels!"
  28. The performances, in and of themselves, range from solid (King's) to inspired (Marshall's)....But taken together, there is both too much and too little going on.
  29. While its cynicism about suburbia is superficially novel, the show itself is quite old-fashioned if not old hat: lame dad, smart mom, cute child, knowing child, strange neighbor. Door here, door there, couch in the middle.
  30. If you are a fan of, say, "Little Britain" in Season 3, you will probably like "Little Britain USA." As for the uninitiated, well, I suppose it all comes down to a person's fondness for penis jokes.
  31. Survivors is torn between the desire to go big--it's the literal end of civilization--and small--how would an ordinary person react to the death of everyone he knows? Regrettably Survivors succeeds at neither, getting stuck instead in a blurry bog of middle ground.
  32. The Cleveland Show is neither sweet nor particularly funny, neither a family comedy nor a true satire.
  33. Given the dark flavor of Shaun Cassidy's adult TV creations and his own experiences within the music machine, Ruby feels surprisingly ordinary and uninformed, put together out of scraps from the old sitcom drawer.
  34. Crude stuff for a family newspaper, but despite the warm-and-fuzzy-celebrity cred that star Courteney Cox brings to it, some funny lines and good acting all around, Cougar Town is a crude show, built on jokes about oral sex and droopy breasts, a show in which words like "coochie" are used with regrettable abandon.
  35. There are legitimately chilling, funny and suspenseful moments in the early episodes of "Happy Town," but the many fine performances are battered to death by a welter of plot twists and cheesy revelations that come speeding out of the sky like those murderous crows in "The Birds."
  36. Between Sherri's grouchy father, adorable son and hapless ex, all the stereotypes seem to be running on full steam. It's a less-than-stellar debut, but a body set in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force, and it's hard to imagine the outside force that's going to slow Sherri Shepherd down any time soon.
  37. I didn't find much of it funny, but on a kind of purely analytical level I can see how the jokes are supposed to work, and might well work on some.
  38. It is so far minor stuff, inconsistent in tone and not particularly original yet fundamentally sweet and, if not stared at too hard, appealing.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Work of Art, which isn't as much bad as merely dull. Bad we could love; dull just sends us wandering off to the fridge, where inner essence consists of leftover meat loaf.
  39. Though my tolerance for tear jerking in-your-face, feel-good makeover shows is comparatively limited, I don't want to come down too hard on Breakthrough, however much it commodifies misfortune or stage-manages reality.
  40. Sadly, these factors [Kevin Nealon, Catherine O'Hara and puppet animation] only amplify my disappointment in what, on the basis of one episode and a handful of clips, looks to be a weak and wheezy show.
  41. Ryan prompts the patrons to talk, but the stories don't really develop into much; and although the arms-buying demographic is indeed wider than one who has not spent much time in a gun store might imagine, their reasons for buying tend to be variations on the same few themes: I was robbed; I don't want to be robbed; guns are fun to collect and shoot.
  42. It's difficult to make cold-blooded and calculating people interesting and empathetic, and yet it must be done. Because fight scenes will take you only so far. Especially when there are no big dance numbers.
  43. Detroit 1-8-7 is, rather than a slice of life, very much a slab of TV. And yet, as currently constituted, the show's only way forward is through the unlikely Fitch; his emotional awkwardness is more interesting than the cases he works.
  44. There's actually no reason this couldn't be a perfectly fine legal procedural, except there's no indication that anyone is attempting to make it one. The script is strictly writing by numbers.
  45. It tries very hard not to take the expected path. Too hard, unfortunately. So determined are Hunt, executive producer/showrunner Jenny Bicks and Linney that The Big C be unsentimental that they jam early episodes with so many over-blown characters and wacky antics that it's impossible to attach meaning to any of them.
  46. It's a noble goal and one hopes that after viewing School Pride, volunteers spring up, committees form and checks are written. Because to merely watch the show and wallow in its many throat-tightening moments would be to remain a voyeur, and then you're just part of the problem.
  47. It's clear that Wells has nothing but respect for the original material; if only he felt the same for American viewers. Unfortunately, [executive producer John Wells] seems to have bought into the notion that Americans need everything to be bigger, louder, messier and drawn in primary colors.
  48. In attempting to be both sprawling and intimate, The Kennedys winds up in a narrative no-man's land.
  49. As an attempt to tell the truth about an attempt to tell the truth about the state of domestic relations in a time of changing values, Cinema Verite fails--it cannot help but fail--as anything but a platform for some interesting performances and a few explicitly, loudly and briefly argued ideas about where one should draw the line when you point a camera into innocent people's lives.
  50. Once known, this fact [the series is based on the lives its creators] lends to the project an authenticity that might not otherwise be apparent, so steeped is it in the rhythms and conventions of the 20th century sitcom.
  51. As if afraid they will be accused of not taking things seriously enough, the creators walk through much of the pilot as if through a minefield, which is to say ver-ry slowly and ver-ry carefully. Not the best pacing considering the subject matter.
  52. As is often the case with melodrama, I find Revenge essentially unconvincing and also quite likable.
  53. Hart of Dixie is a stack of familiar scenarios stitched together to form a pretty if not terribly substantial quilt, of the sort Zoe encounters in Bluebell.
  54. Certainly Olbermann is refreshing, and singular, in the clarity of his mission, which is to defend the liberal point of view with the same sort of take-no-prisoners rhetoric that conservative pundits like Bill O'Reilly have wielded so effectively. But the blatant uber-medianess of his persona seems, at times, in direct conflict with that belief that "the weakest citizen is more important than the strongest corporation."
  55. Everything is presented far too briefly. For all her geographic ambition, Alexandra Pelosi winds up conducting an exit poll rather than telling a real story.
  56. The film aims for a dry authenticity that only fractionally reflects the big, wild volume on which it's based, cutting away nearly all of its poetry and most of its madness.
  57. We get a glimpse of some intriguing characters that we don't, however, quite come to know--not in the episodes I've seen, anyway--because we are being pelted the whole time with exposition and explanation. We're rarely allowed just to look or listen in or to think for ourselves.
  58. At something more than five hours, Prohibition, while interesting from moment to moment, is longer than it needs to be, and made even longer by Burns' habitual stateliness.
  59. Despite the strength of its parts, the whole feels very nascent and shaky.
  60. The pilot is a minor thing but not an unpleasant one, once you get past the opening salvo of pubic-hair jokes.
  61. What viewers are left with, then, are some excellent fight and chase scenes, an outstanding supporting cast (who, alas, only highlight the main character's deficiencies) and a lot of truly beautiful location work. It may be enough, but it could, and should, have been so much more.
  62. If for the most part this Treasure Island does not shiver my timbers, at a running time of three hours (four with ads), some things are bound to work, if only by the law of averages.
  63. Rays of charm do break through the haze of the ordinary and obvious, even if just for a line or a line reading.
  64. Though it is clearly based on research, with dialogue that scavenges the principals' own writing--it is never quite believable, either as history or drama.
  65. It is not a train wreck; it's just a train--chugging along from A to B, carrying the people, delivering the freight.
  66. The deal you make with a series like this is, if it doesn't ask too much of you, you won't ask too much of it.
  67. As a professionally discerning adult, I could not help but notice that the characters are fairly stock, the situations familiar and, some nifty digital backgrounds notwithstanding, the production continually felt more like an elaborate game of let's pretend than it did a window into some real other world. I didn't buy a second of it.
  68. The only experiment actually being done here is the ongoing one of determining just how long people will watch this sort of thing. That is an experiment with no end in sight.
  69. If you can live through the ridiculous hustle-forward, no-looking introduction to the story, what follows is entertaining enough, albeit in a mildly campy way.
  70. It's not a bad show, it's just a bit too familiar.
  71. The sets are terrific, as are the costumes, and the rich and saturated moodiness of the production values makes the tepidness of the story all the more disappointing.
  72. There is a story to be made from this, about aspiration and achievement and what goes on in the gap between them, but that is not a story that television, or any other form of American mass culture, particularly likes to tell. Underemployed flirts with it but more often settles for flattering its audience, reflecting not only its hopes but also its resentments.
  73. Neither the script nor the production is substantial enough to make the story quite stand on its own.
  74. SEAL Team Six, though inevitably exciting in its conclusion and touching at times, refuses to commit either way. This failure of nerve not only dooms the film as both docu--and drama but also contradicts its main theme.
  75. If this seems a hodgepodge of ideas, well, that is the general feel of Mankind--a scattershot catalog of man's greatest hits, lovingly enacted by a cast of grim and grimy thousands and propelled ever forward by a relentless soundtrack and urgent narration by Josh Brolin.
  76. Narrated by Stone with no other voices (save actors filling in for various world leaders), Untold History is a hodgepodge of terrific if often disturbing historical footage and bizarre theatrical asides (including, at one point, the dictionary definition of "empathy" spelled out on the screen) that are almost overwhelmed by its invasive soundtrack.
  77. Banshee has has elements of "Justified," "Big Love," Ball's "True Blood" and, of course, the film "Witness." What it doesn't have, at least in the first two episodes, is anything new to say, about small towns, power, corruption, fear, crime or love.
  78. Far more sentimental than thrilling--there are no real monsters under this hospital bed--it plays more like a mash-up of "A Gifted Man" and "The B- in Apartment 23."
  79. Cult has just the right amount of preposterous dialogue and clunky transitions to draw potential hate-watchers too, a bit of zeitgeist juggling that is both slightly nauseating and admirable.
  80. An ambitious character-driven drama over-enamored from the get-go with its tricky structure and coy premise.
  81. What Swank doesn't bring is any sort of emotional connection, either to Mary, Mary's son or the audience.... Mercifully, Blethyn eventually joins her on the screen and is, as ever, simple perfection, needing to do little more than utter two words with an anguished squint to break your heart into 50 million pieces. When the two meet up, Mary and Martha begins to transcend the drumbeat of its message.
  82. The pilot half aims for the exaggerated, other-worldly tone of "Arrested Development" and misses.... The second episode, by contrast, has a healthy dose of the ordinary mixed in and is actually about something: the invisibility of the working class.
  83. There is a professional, even a grim efficiency to the jokes.... There are breast jokes, genital jokes, a long oral sex joke, an alcoholic-sorority-girl-defecating-in-a-closet joke. A few hit, many miss.
  84. By pilot's end, the tension level is more "Parenthood" than "Homeland."
  85. Equal parts stupid and sweet, The Goodwin Games does not appear to be built for the long haul.
  86. With a shorter to-do list and more ruthless editing--far too much time is spent in close-ups on the hosts--Showville could be as good in fact as it is in theory.
  87. There are many powerful scenes in The White Queen, moments that illustrate time and again how a woman's body was both her greatest tool and her inevitable prison; a man could control his fate by mind or sword, a woman can do it only by proxy. Unfortunately, they are surrounded by the misty, swampy lands of generic medievalness.
  88. The Guardian, despite having some promise, wears prominently on its forehead the scarlet "P" of predictability. You can be fairly certain that not only will Fallin make this difficult situation work, but that he'll be a better man for it. [25 Sept 2001, p.C2]
    • Los Angeles Times
  89. Apart from Underwood, who has class-A TV-star appeal, the show is nothing special. No worse than or much different from your average character-driven cop show.
  90. It's "House of Cards," with a werewolf/vampire hybrid instead of a charming but ruthless Southern senator.
  91. Unfortunately, though Wilson remains gorgeously fearless in her willingness to go all in, neither the network nor Wilson (she is an executive producer) know quite what to do with that.
  92. It is, by turns, hilarious and histrionic, illuminating and infuriating.
  93. Almost Human isn't terrible, it's just not terribly interesting, at least in the first hour.
  94. Enlisted is an oddly quaint show, a stateside service comedy, if not quite a peacetime one.
  95. The turn and turn again structure is definitely appealing, albeit a bit self-conscious. The cast is terrific and LaBute knows his way around dialogue.... But watching guys hand-feed their inner cavemen from the table is not nearly as much fun as LaBute seems to think it is.
  96. Neither [Hirsch and Granger] offer any insight into what drove the couple, what they actually hoped to achieve, and what kept them going when it became clear that things were not going to end well. And History might have a little soul-searching to do; dramatic license should not mean Make a Huge Number of Important Plot Points Up.
  97. Some of these bits work very well, albeit as free-floating shards of comedy.... But parody works best when its subject is either truly iconic or still relatively fresh in the minds of the audience and, mercifully, the B-list miniseries of yesteryear are neither.
  98. If you even suspect you won't hate it, it's worth a look.
  99. [Slater's] new show also needs to find its voice. Still, if there is something in its premise that recalls the straining-for-effect, too-clever-to-start setups of series like USA's "Psych" and "Suits," the first of those managed to run eight seasons in the end, and the latter has already been renewed for a fourth.

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